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A Trumph and a Guide

The Washington Post analysis of last nights Virginia race is right on the money. Read the whole thing, but here are excerpts:

A Triumph For Warner, And a Guide For His Party

Virginia's quadrennial search for a governor featured neither charismatic personalities nor dominant policy initiatives. But Democrat Timothy M. Kaine's resounding victory over Republican Jerry W. Kilgore nonetheless provided important political lessons for the commonwealth, and maybe the country.

The outcome marked what feels like a dramatic strengthening of Democratic appeal in Northern Virginia, the state's richest and most populous region. It showed that Republicans can no longer depend simply on the power of their party to win statewide and demonstrated the dangers of a negative campaign. It presented an intriguing campaign model for Democrats, in which religious faith plays an important role. And most of all it demonstrated the appeal of Gov. Mark R. Warner (D), for whom this could become the first stop of a presidential campaign.

"I think this is an interesting test case for Democrats to see if you can run a faith-based campaign focused on values and do so as a progressive candidate in a Southern state," Rozell said....

It worked, Rozell said, because of Kaine's frequent reference to his service as a missionary in Honduras while in law school and his familiarity with the language of religion. "It did not come off as calculated," he said.

Virginia voters cast ballots Tuesday for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and House district races. Voters also elected new mayors and local officials in a handful of local Maryland and Virginia races.

In his victory speech last night, Kaine told the crowd, "We proved that faith in God is a value we all can share regardless of party."
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